The final pieces of sod are being laid, final check-ups on the interactive exhibits are being performed and the doors are set to open for the grand opening of the Center for Civil and Human Rights on June 23.

The GA Voice took an advance tour of the Center and we’ve posted a photo gallery below for readers to get a sneak peek.

The Center is dominated by two galleries: the American Civil Rights Movement on the main floor and the Global Human Rights Movement on the second floor. There’s also a separate, smaller gallery on the ground floor that houses the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, a rotating exhibition of items on loan from Morehouse College.

The MLK Collection is an impressive piece of history, with Dr. King’s handwritten letters, notes on speeches, grade school papers, personal effects and more filling the temperature-controlled cases. The backdrop for the exhibit is a screen taking up an entire wall flashing the words “I Have A Dream” in hundreds of different languages.

As for LGBT content, there is an adequate amount considering the amount of ground the Center covers. The American Civil Rights gallery gives ample space to Bayard Rustin in a room dedicated to the March on Washington, of which Rustin was a key organizer. Rustin’s sexuality is also covered in the brief biography written on each major figure in the March.

But the bulk of the LGBT content is in the Global Human Rights gallery, where you can play a video featuring a lesbian from Nicaragua telling her story, view a piece on Russian LGBT activist Anastasia Smirnova and read a section dedicated to LGBT rights.

Many exhibits were designed to be rotated in and out every four months or so, so look for some content to change sometime in the fall.

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders

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